From Excavated Earth into Carbon Neutral Building Materials

EDITOR: Maria Helena Luiga

PHOTOS: Maria Helena Luiga, Hannes Praks, Henri Papson, T├Ánu Tunnel



YEAR: 2023

Materials from local clay-based soil are one of the possible solutions towards a more sustainable construction sector. From clay-based soil, by combining different materials (clay, sand, gravel), one can make, for example, load-bearing exterior walls, interior walls, partitions, wall fillers, and interior finishing materials like (acoustic) plaster and paint.

The concept of valorizing excavation waste is based on the principle that the clay-based soil extracted from the excavation pit of a building's foundation is a local construction material that can be extensively used in the building under construction. The positive aspects of local material production include site-specific material use, which significantly reduces the transportation and processing footprint, replacing new factory-produced materials, and a better indoor climate due to the thermal, porous, and hygroscopic properties of clay.

This publication provides insights into how excavation waste can be valorized and transformed into earth-based building and finishing materials.

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The publication is published with the financial support of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.